EGUPolicy: An Expert Discussion on Ozone – Working at the Science-Policy Interface

This post was originally written for the EGUPolicy column, a monthly feature of the European Geophysical Union’s official blog, GeoLog. The original post appeared here on December 2, 2015. As scientists and researchers we are increasingly being asked to conduct or participate in interdisciplinary (working across disciplines) or transdisciplinary (working with stakeholders outside of academia)...
Continue reading...

The Theory and Practice of Disaster Risk Reduction: Q&A with Nina Köksalan

The second international Potsdam Summer School drew to a close on 23 September. Over 10 days, 40 participants from various fields and 28 different countries discussed this year’s Summer School theme, “Facing Natural Hazards”, with renowned scientists from Potsdam-based research institutes and international experts. One of those participants was Nina Köksalan. Nina studied geography, art...
Continue reading...

“Many Causes of Natural Disasters are Political and Social”: Q&A with David Alexander

The growing world population, climate change, rapid urbanisation, and the international interdependence of economies are all increasing our vulnerability to natural hazards. Such major global challenges are the focus of the second international Potsdam Summer School on “Facing Natural Hazards”, which is taking place from 14 to 23 September. One of the most well-known researchers...
Continue reading...

Sustainability Impacts of Industry 4.0

Can you be an engineer and ‘still’ ponder the big questions of humanity? This question presented itself to me last year, when I was looking to take a new direction in my career after a number of years in classical engineering jobs. So, there’s no Nobel Prize or Fields Medal for engineering? Oh well. But...
Continue reading...

Climate Change and the Imagination: Q&A with Manjana Milkoreit

The IASS recently hosted a presentation titled Imagination in World Politics – Climate Change, the Mind and the Future by Manjana Milkoreit, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University. In a ‘flash fiction’ exercise after the talk, participants collectively developed very short fictional stories about the future, in which climate change impacts have become a...
Continue reading...

Economic Expertise: A Historical Perspective on a Topical Issue

In late 2013 the IASS held a workshop on “Political Economy”, which focused on the transfer of economic knowledge into politics. I had been following discussions on this subject ever since the 2008 financial crisis. While economics has been in for particularly strong criticism since then, from within the discipline and beyond it, demands for...
Continue reading...

Gold at the Bottom of the Sea: Ours for the Taking?

Some researchers think that the deep sea could become a treasure chest for humanity, full of gold, silver, cobalt, and other minerals – enough to feed our consumer societies for centuries and lift poor nations out of poverty. Others are more doubtful. In a world of eternal darkness, cold temperatures, and pressures powerful enough to...
Continue reading...